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Monday, January 08, 2007

Word for the Week

Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English flOwan; akin to Old High German flouwen to rinse, wash, Latin pluere to rain, Greek plein to sail, float intransitive verb
(1) : to issue or move in a stream
(2) : CIRCULATE b : to move with a continual change of place among the constituent particles
2 : RISE
4 a : to proceed smoothly and readily b : to have a smooth continuity

Some people call it the zone. Some people call it flow, but all of us recognize the state of broadened awareness and flexibility of thought which allows us to expand our creative output with seemingly minimal effort. Richard Powers explores how dictation has helped him achieve and maximize this state in his writing. Check it out.

"The faster I speak, the better my tablet PC transcribes. It won’t choke, even at bursts over 200 w.p.m. The real hitch remains accuracy. When in the groove, my speech software is remarkably precise, far more accurate than most typists. But no machine makes phonetic distinctions as fine as humans do, and my software’s recognition engine doesn’t model meaning. So where my fingers might stop at changing “sign” to “sing,” my tablet can turn my words hallucinatory without limit."

How to Speak a Book
Published: January 7, 2007
The New York Times Sunday Book Review

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